From Dad, With Love – Sanjeev Kapoor And Rachita Kapoor
August 8, 1994 – a rainy morning that changed my life forever. You came into this world and flooded my world with sunshine and joy! Sometimes I just gaze at you and marvel at the years gone by. At how you’ve transformed from the pink, screaming bundle you were to such a confident, self-assured young woman. I marvel at how good you are at connecting with people. I am amazed at how popular you are and the number of friends you have. You are a warm girl and you trust people too easily, a trait that sometimes worries me. Trust your gut, it can rarely go wrong, especially when it comes to people.
Papa doesn’t mean to preach, but watching you go through life I can’t help but feel anxious about what lies ahead and how you will cope. I know you are a go-getter and will achieve what you have set out to. I want to tell you that whatever you achieve, never lose your ability to connect with people. Treat everyone you meet with warmth and respect. This attitude will go a long way.
You, being the first-born, will always have a special place in my heart; it was you who completed Alyona and me. It was you who made us a family, and it gladdens my heart to see both you and your sister Kriti value your family so much. There is a lot to learn from your family, far more than what a structured education will teach you, and I speak from experience.
I see you poised to enter a professional world soon and even though I want to warn you about the mistakes and the pains, I will not. I want you to experience it all yourself. It’s when you take the knocks with the successes that you can truly flourish in life. When you set out on your career path, the foremost thing to have with you is a strong sense of direction and purpose. Have a goal and pursue it single-mindedly, that alone will take you to your destination. I tell you this from experience: let the world laugh at your dreams – the cynics will dissuade you – but you turn a deaf ear to it all and forge ahead. This was what I did, whether it was to study Sanskrit in a school which wasn’t allowing me to, or resigning from my job to be on my own or starting my own channel. All I did was to believe in my dream and it got me where I am today. Steer clear of negativity and cynicism and that is half the battle won.
In a few years you will start your own life away from us with your life partner. Be flexible in your thoughts and attitude. Don’t have very high expectations from people – just because you are good at something doesn’t mean the others will also have the same ability – they might have qualities that you don’t possess. So, be humble and willing to learn, whether it is from your mistakes or from other’s. Nobody is perfect; the world, including us, is made up of imperfections, what we do with it, is our creativity and strength. I can share a simple secret with you, to grow in life happily, only focus on what is good in a person and rarely on what is not.
The world is changing at a rapid pace, the world your mother and I inhabited will be very different from the world you will start your life in, but values don’t change. We have given you the values we’ve grown up with and I am confident of the way you’ve been brought up and know that you will never compromise on these values – and I expect you to hand them over to your future generations as well.
God bless you, my little one. A heart always full of joy and compassion is what I wish for you today and always. And remember we will always be there for you, unconditionally.
Chef and entrepreneur Sanjeev Kapoor stars in the TV show Khana Khazana which is the longest running show of its kind in Asia and is broadcast in 120 countries. He has also launched the FoodFood channel dedicated to food and Sanjeev Kapoor’s Khana Khazana which is his line of ready-to-cook meals. He also lends his names to many restaurants across India.
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